During the 1950s, J.W. de Bruyn was Philips Research Laboratories’ official sound engineer, working at their Eindhoven electronic facility, when the company, possibly inspired by similar ventures elsewhere in Europe, decided it was time to have some music created with the oscilloscopes, sine wave generators and modulators and invited several composers over, including Edgar Varèse, Nicolas Schoffer and Henk Badings (1907-1987). The latter’s Kain und Abel was the first work ever composed in the newly launched electronic music studio, in 1956. The studio was moved to Utrecht in 1960 and became known as the STEM (Studio voor elektronische musiek).
This 7-inch disc was issued as an illustration of De Bruyn and Badings’ “Elektronische Musik” article in Philips Technische Rundschau, or Philips’ technical review, issue 19, Number 6, published 1957 in West Germany. One assumes the article introduced the engineers among the readership to electronic sounds and elaborated on the possibilities for composers. The front cover picture shows De Bruyn and Badings configuring the optical siren used in Kain und Abel. The record’s back cover blurb goes like this:
Die Magnetbänder für beide Seiten sind im Forschungslaboratorium der N.V. Philips’ Gloeilampenfabrieken, Eindhoven hergestellt. Diese Schalplatte ist nicht einzeln käuflich. Ein Langspielplatte mit dem vollständigen Werk “Kain und Abel” ist im Handel erhältlich.
[The magnetic tape for both sides was produced in the research laboratory of the N.V. Philips’ glow lamp factory in Eindhoven. This record is not to be sold separately. A Long Playing record with the full-length version of Kain und Abel is commercially available.]
The B side indeed comes wih a short version, or Verkürtze Fassung, of the Kain und Abel 16mn electronic ballet music, recorded May 1956 in the Philips’ studio with J.W. de Bruyn as assistant. The work was commissioned by the 1956 Holland Festival for a Jan Zielstra choreography premiered by the Nederlands Ballet company. The LP version appeared in 1957. Kain und Abel was reissued, along other Dutch early electronic works, in the Popular Electronics 4-CD box set published by Basta (booklet available here).
The A side is called Elektronische Musik Klangbeispiele, or Electronic Music Sound Examples, and is apparently a De Bruyn/Badings collaboration to illustrate their article. As far as I know, it hasn’t been reissued or digitized before. Though it is composed of a succession of various sound experiments, it works as a coherent tone poem in a pre-determined tonal pitch. The studio techniques used include: piano sounds through vari-speed manipulation ; backward running tape ; echo, reverb and overdrive sound effects ; sine wave electronic tonalities ; tape loop ; processed bell and clavichord sounds, a.o.
J.W. de Bruyn & Henk Badings
01 Elektronische Musik – Klangbeispiele (6:48)
02 Kain und Abel – Verkürtze Fassung (8:10)
Total time 15:00
7-inch single released by Philips, West Germany, 1957